Cliff Matthews was a seventh round pick, meaning his continued presence on the Falcons' roster is itself an accomplishment. Nobody ever expected him to log significant playing time. If anything, the Falcons just wanted Matthews to be a reliable rotation-type player. Now, with his cross-training at defensive tackle, Matthews is likely to see time in both the defensive end and defensive tackle rotations in 2013.
His cross-training at both positions will be tested starting Thursday night in the Falcons’ first preseason game of the year. While he hasn’t been given any indication about how much he’ll play at either defensive end or defensive tackle, Matthews said Wednesday that he’s ready for whatever the coaching staff wants to throw at him.
“I felt like it was another opportunity for me to pursue,” Matthews said of the added responsibilities. “I’m just taking it one day at a time and taking advantage of it.”
Those who have been at camp can attest to the additional weight he's carrying around these days. It's obvious Matthews ate his Wheaties and logged significant hours in the weight room during the off-season. Good for him, good for us, and good all around.